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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Strange Underarm Redness and Peeling

 RayneFire - Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:35 am

I have recently developed a skin irritation underneath my right armpit. It's tender to the touch, and it has an itchy, burning feeling. Almost appearing as being "raw". The skin around it is peeling off my underarm and looks as though it's rotting off. It posesses a strange, pungent oder to the affected area, like some kind of infection (although, I'm not sure if that's the case). The redness also seems to be spreading more accross my underarm as the days go by. I fear it may spread to other parts of my body..

I am very concerned about this because I have never had this problem before, and I have no idea if this is something I should really worry about. I would really appreciate if someone could tell me what's going on, and what could I do to heal it? Thanks.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:53 pm

You have given good descriptions which are suggestive of intertrigo, which is an an inflammation of the upper layers of skin caused by moisture, bacteria, or fungi in flexural areas of the body where the folds of skin rub or press against each other. The affected areas are usually brown, pink or red and the skin may macerate, producing an offensive odour, consistent with your description.

Predisposing causes are warm and moist climates, obesity, diabetes and hyperhidrosis.
Common sites are the axillae, the groins, and the flexure between the lower border of the female breast and skin.

Apart from intertrigo, it is important to consider irritant or allergic contact dermatitis from deodorants or shaving if this is applicable in your case.

A dermatologist or primary care physician can perform simple tests to identify the cause. A skin scraping will eliminate a fungal infection. A Wood’s lamp will identify erythrasma, which is a bacterial infection. Both the fungal and bacterial causes respond well to treatment. If you are overweight, get into the right BMI range for your height. If the condition is persistent in spite of treatment, check your fasting blood sugar.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical and Genitourinary Medicine
 RayneFire - Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:26 am

Thank you for the prompt response to my query! I appreciate your diagnosis of my uncomfortable skin condition. I think the deodorant may be a factor in my developing this problem, but I am going to go to my family doctor to make sure of what it is, exactly.

I will mention to him what you have told me about what could be the probable culprits, and will ask him to test me for all those conditions you've listed. Once, again, thank you so much!
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:34 pm

I am pleased that you have accepted to go for examination. Please update us with results of tests.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 Clank101267 - Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:06 am

mine do that when I put on hyperhidrosis medication that dosent work. It burns, but I put it on anyway. It dosnt help my condition, but I can hope cant I?

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